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Gold Rallies on Slumping US Dollar, Equities

September 17, 2018 at 16:07 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are rallying to start the trading week, buoyed by a slumping US dollar and sliding stocks. The yellow metal, which was flat last week, is looking to post modest gains ahead of next week’s Federal Reserve policy meeting, where it is widely expected Jerome Powell will raise interest rates.

December gold futures tacked on $6.70, or 0.56%, to $1,207.80 per ounce at 16:44 GMT on Friday. Over the last 12 months, gold prices have tumbled 9.5%, testing the crucial $1,200 threshold.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is also surging to kick off the trading week. December silver futures climbed $0.10, or 0.73%, to $14.25 an ounce. The white metal posted a weekly loss of 0.5% last week, adding to its 2018 woes as it has shed 20% since September 2017.

The US dollar slipped on Monday as the greenback shed 0.46% to 94.52. Despite advancing as much as 3.5% this year, the buck has been paring some of its gains. Year-to-date, the dollar is up 2.6%. A weaker currency is a boon for dollar-denominated commodities because it makes it cheaper for foreign investors to purchase.

Precious metals are gaining on the leading stock indexes witnessing a sea of red. When the equities market is sliding, investors typically dive into safe-haven assets, like gold and silver. While traders are lifting the metal commodities, investors have been mostly pouring into the dollar in recent months. They view the buck as less of a risk in a trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

But the dollar’s descent may be brief as the market widely anticipates that the US central bank will pull the trigger on a rate hike at next week’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy meeting. With the plethora of positive economic data, there is very little reason to believe that the Fed will refrain from raising rates.

Gold is generally sensitive to a rising-rate environment because it boosts the opportunity cost and sends traders into yield-bearing assets. However, because the market has expected a September rate hike all summer, it might already be factored into gold prices.

In other metals markets, December copper futures jumped $0.005, or 0.19%, to $2.65 per pound. December platinum futures edged up $6.20, or 0.78%, to $804.80 an ounce. December palladium futures rose $4.00, or 0.41%, to $974.50 per ounce.

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